Saskatchewan announced its strategy to improve the lives of people living with disabilities on International Day of Persons with Disabilities Thursday.
“These six priority areas were chosen because they are foundational,” said Donna Harpauer, social services minister, in a news release. “By focusing on these areas first, we can begin building for the future so we can effectively respond to the needs identified by citizens during the province-wide consultations.”
The consultations took place in more than 20 locations starting in 2014. A report was then written by the citizen consultation team called People Before Systems: Transforming the Experience of Disability in Saskatchewan.
Now the province has chosen six priorities from that report to form Saskatchewan’s strategy.
- Availability of accessible and safe transportation in communities;
- Respite services for families with children and adults experiencing disabilities;
- Improvements to existing accessibility legislation or the development of new accessibility legislation;
- Residential services for people experiencing disability;
- Service co-ordination and navigation of services required for those experiencing disability; and
- Awareness and understanding of the rights of people experiencing disabilities.
The initial report contained 12 recommendations. The news release from the province noted that the co-chair for the consultation team acknowledged that not all recommendations would be able to be accomplished at once.
The timeline and costs of implementing these priorities are still being determined.
The news release pointed to improvements already being made in Saskatchewan. Both Regina and Saskatoon are introducing audible stop announcement systems on public transit to notify riders of upcoming bus stops.